VIOLINIST | EDUCATOR
VIOLINIST | EDUCATOR
Maybe you’ve been playing the violin for years, but have been in a slump for a while now…and can’t figure out how to move to the next level?
Or maybe once upon a time you were quite serious about the violin, and would like to pick it up again…but aren’t sure where to begin?
Maybe I can help!
I’m a Juilliard-trained concert violinist with 20+ years of teaching experience.
Since making my concert debut at thirteen years old, I’ve appeared in hundreds of performances on five continents.
I’ve served on the faculty of The Juilliard School and the University of Chicago. I’ve taught masterclasses and clinics at the Peabody Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, Dartmouth College, the Longy School of Music of Bard College, McGill University, and the Interlochen Summer Arts Academy.
I’ve worked with musicians of all ages and levels, but lately, I’ve come to find that I especially love working with adult learners, and maintain a small private studio of enthusiastic violin students that I teach in person and online.
Adulting is hard! And I get that sometimes it gets in the way of your violin playing.
Even though I’m a professional violinist and I’ve played for decades, it’s still hard to find time (and sometimes motivation) to practice and keep improving.
And performance plateaus are a part of life, even for top performers. Over the years, I’ve taken long breaks from playing for a variety of reasons: injury, burn out, career pivot, and sometimes, just life.
Life is hard, amirite?
It’s always daunting to come back from a break and I’ve learned that the most important ingredient is self-compassion.
How do we learn to be kind to ourselves, especially when classical music training often teaches us to be harsh to ourselves and others?
Over decades of teaching a range of folks – complete beginners, conservatory students, elite performers, competition winners, pre-med students, scientists, doctors, amateurs and professionals – I’ve developed a flexible and supportive approach to violin teaching.
Also, my recent experiences as an adult learner myself, in a competitive MFA program for creative writing, has taught me to be curious rather than judgmental as well as lots of new skills to cultivate creative courage and stay open to our process and development.
I’ll help you develop a strong technical foundation drawing from various traditional schools of violin technique. and I’ll guide you through the traditional studies and repertoire that are necessary for building a thoroughly developed technique that’ll allow you complete artistic freedom.
Rather than technique for technique’s sake, I believe in teaching you technique in order to help you sound your best, express yourself, and have fun doing it!
I’ll also work with you on understanding the music history and the building blocks of harmony and structure to help you develop your music theory chops, too, so that you’ll hopefully find more meaning in the music and love the pieces you’re learning even more.
I can also provide in-between lesson support in the way of shared videos and audio to support you in your private practice time.
I also love teaching you stuff I’ve learned from fiddling, improvising, creating simple arrangements, and learning by ear, which are skills that are not only important to our musical development but also enhance our musicianship and overall enjoyment of playing.
In addition, I’ll share with you the skills I’ve learned from participating in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Management Program, as outlined by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, which can enhance the efficacy of your practice and help you manage negative self-talk that might be getting in the way of your development.
Ultimately, I believe my main task as a teacher is one of facilitating. I’m here to be your guide and resource as you move through your own personal musical journey.
First, we’ll start with an initial consultation, where you’ll tell me your goals for your violin playing. Maybe you want to learn the Mendelssohn violin concerto? Maybe you want to create your own arrangements for solo violin? Maybe you want to polish your double stops? Maybe you want to increase your playing stamina from ten minutes to one hour? We’ll work together to create a pathway forward to develop your violin playing and help you reach your goals.
Then, we’ll make a plan to jumpstart your playing. This can include assigning and discovering new pieces, building up to repertoire you’ve always wanted to play, or even returning to pieces you’ve played before. I’ll offer you constructive, focused feedback to help you develop your playing so you feel satisfaction and enjoyment when you play.
Finally, we’ll work together to custom design lessons and a schedule that will work for you and your particular needs and lifestyle.
I’ve worked with some great teachers – but also some who were really unclear and sometimes even quite harsh about what to do and how to do it. If you, too, have had teachers in the past who impatiently expected you to be somewhere other than where you’re at, don’t worry. I’ll meet you right where you are, providing lots of specific advice on how to improve your violin playing, so that through our work together, you’ll feel more confident about your skills – and most importantly, you’ll have more fun playing too.
Amazing, I’m so glad you’re here!
The great news is that all the skills you learned before are still with you and I can help you rediscover them. Just like reconnecting with an old friend, the awesome thing about having learned to play when you were younger is that those skills never really go away. You have a whole backlog of experiences and knowledge that will help you as you start playing again and I’ll be there to guide you and provide reminders along the way.
Oh, I hear you and I’ve been there! It’s really tough to improve when you are practicing all alone in a vacuum.
When we’re stuck, sometimes the best thing we can do is stop trying so hard. I’ll find cool things for you to read and listen to that you can model and will give you a boost of inspiration. Sometimes all we need is to listen to how someone else is playing something and mimic it, to find the permission we need to try something new.
Together, we’ll trial and error things, figure out what we love, and learn how we can do it, too.
You are not alone! I also struggle with this and most professional and amateur musicians do, too.
Growing up, I always thought that my lessons were like tests, where I had to play perfectly in order to get a passing grade. Maybe you’ve felt a similar pressure before in your violin lessons. Instead, we’ll create a plan to keep you playing with short assignments and mini-deadlines as well as the accountability of regular lesson times that’ll be your sacred playing time.
Even if you don’t practice at all in between lessons, you’ll always know you’ll have our lessons as built in practice/playing time for you each week.
I’ll help you so you don’t have to struggle alone in your violin practice, or feel like you’re spinning your wheels.
Through clear goal setting and gentle accountability, you’ll gain more confidence, hear improvement, and increase enjoyment in your violin playing. No matter where you are in your violin playing, I’ll help you have more fun, and develop more ease in your practice.
I’m looking forward to helping you fulfill your violin playing goals. Fill out the form below to get started, and I’ll be in touch within 24 hours.
Looking forward to talking to you!